How the Arts love Bluffton. Invitational showcase debuts at Festival.

There’s an element of gratitude behind the new Friends of Bluffton Artists show.  They mean to leave a legacy.  The local artists who give Old Town its genuine identity, and who have played a major role in making Bluffton an art, shopping and dining destination, have cooked up yet another way to give back to the town that gives them light, quiet, color and endless fascination.

The 1st Annual Friends of Bluffton Artists Invitational Showcase will begin the weeklong Arts & Seafood Festival in Bluffton, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 14.  The new show celebrates the Festival’s eighth year with a kickoff focused on handmade, original local art.  More than 30 local artists in every medium will contribute to the juried show.  And in a gesture they plan to continue through coming years, they will unveil a work of public art to be shared by Bluffton and its visitors.

Artist Kelly Graham created this year’s legacy work using repurposed and

The Festival celebrates Arts, Seafood and this incomparable setting.

recycled objects, in tribute to the resourceful nature of the Bluffton art community, and the vital link between Old Town and the river.  He’ll be here for the unveiling, and Amiri Farris will be present, too, to autograph limited edition prints of the Arts & Seafood poster he created for this year’s Festival.

The Invitational Showcase promises to be a feast for collectors who recognize what’s unique about the art that’s practiced in the Lowcountry.

Crab Lady by Judy Mooney

We’re fortunate to be around during the active careers of many of the artists who banded together and made Bluffton a real, live art colony.  These folks and the uncommonly talented artists they attracted to the community will be showing here at the start of the weeklong Arts & Seafood Festival.

Doug Corkern’s feel for evocative line, in pen-and-ink drawings and watercolors will be on display, as well as Murray Sease’s riotous color in oils.  Photography by Jeff Kuehn and Marge Agin shows entirely new ways to see what’s right in front of us.  Sculpture by Judy Mooney and Susie Chisholm seems to be still and moving simultaneously.  We’re lucky to live here, lucky to visit here, and the sheer celebration of that good fortune is the subject of this show.

The whole Arts & Seafood Festival lasts a week and starts at 11 a.m.

Dockside Evening by Jim Lewis

Sunday, October 14, with the Friends of Bluffton Artists Invitational Showcase, along Calhoun Street.  Immediately after the show, at 4 p.m., the Blessing of the Fleet will take place as boats pass in review on the May River, followed by gospel music at the Church of the Cross.

The ensuing week is packed with fun.  There’s something going on that everybody will enjoy, from kayak tours and fishing tournaments to Author Night readings, Family Night and the Art-Sea Dash, a costumed fun run.  Good food, from the traditional Lowcountry boil to Iron Chef cuisine will be part of the fun and live bands provide the musical entertainment.

Look it over at  You’re sure to find something to enjoy.